Andy Pages Comes Up Clutch To Send Glendale To AFL Championship Game
PEORIA, Ariz.— Andy Pages has developed a knack for delivering in the clutch this fall. As a direct result, Glendale is headed to the Arizona Fall League championship game.
Pages went 2-for-3 and blew the game open with a late two-run double, sending Glendale to a 6-3 win over Peoria in the play-in semifinal Friday night. Glendale advances to face Surprise in the AFL title game Saturday at Scottsdale Stadium.
Pages, the Dodgers No. 7 prospect, hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning Wednesday to lift the Desert Dogs to victory in a must-win game. He followed up by reaching base in three of his four plate appearances in the semifinal and delivered the final blow as Glendale scored six unanswered runs to rally for victory.
“I have a lot of opportunities to perform this way in my career,” Pages said through an interpreter. “I've learned to control the situation and really get a handle on it and take on the responsibility of doing it for my team.”
Peoria jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning, but Glendale progressively chipped away at the deficit before going ahead in the seventh. Austin Martin (Twins) broke a 3-3 tie with an RBI single through the right side off Peoria reliever Alek Jacob (Padres). Pages followed with a ringing double to the wall in left to bring home a pair and extend the Desert Dogs’ lead to 6-3.
Pages’ double left his bat at 107 mph, according to Trackman, the hardest hit ball of the game.
“I really fought to give the best of myself,” Pages said. “(The championship) is something that I really want, something that we want as a team. We're amongst a lot of really, really strong prospects and really great athletes. So to be able to do that and be in that kind of competition here at the end is great.”
Pages also walked and singled in the game. It was his third multi-hit effort in his last four games, all of them must-win contests for Glendale to keep its season alive.
“I've been working on things that affected me during the regular season and so having worked on that during the Fall League and seeing the fruit of it, it's rewarding,” Pages said. “Just the way I approach the plate and really making the best decision on which pitches to go for and which ones to just leave.”
Peoria jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out rally. After Glendale righthander Jon Olsen (Twins) retired the first two batters in the frame, Peoria loaded the bases and Olsen walked Jose Caballero (Mariners) to force a run home. Jackson Merrill (Padres) followed with a two-run single to give the Javelinas a commanding early lead.
Glendale wasted no time responding in the bottom of the inning. After Alex Isola (Twins) drew a leadoff walk to start the inning, Noelvi Marte (Reds) got a high fastball from Peoria righthander Bryan Woo (Mariners) and blasted it 390 feet over the left-field fence for a two-run homer to cut the deficit to 3-2.
Isola tied it in the fourth with a massive home run that nearly hit the light pole deep beyond the wall in left-center. That’s where the score stayed until the seventh, when Pages came up clutch once again to secure the win and send Glendale to the championship game.
“We've got very little time to celebrate between now and the game tomorrow,” Pages said. “For now, we're just gonna stay focused. I'm gonna stay focused for what's to come tomorrow.”